TRAINING CAMP VETERANS ARRIVAL: RAY LEWIS & RAY RICE
LB Ray Lewis
On whether he's ready to get another training camp started: "Here we go. I just think, as a team, we're at a good place. Coming into camp and all of the new additions, Bobbie [Williams] is classic, Jacoby [Jones] is … Both of them have got a different spirit or whatever, which kind of equals the defense out, so I think it's going to be an exciting season for us. I think we've got a pretty good mix of a good team."
On whether this training camp feels any different after being so close to the Super Bowl last year: "Honestly, I think you go through what you're going to go through. You are human. But once it's over, it's over. There's nothing you can do to go back and change that. And I think this year we have a totally different team, the reason being we added some pieces, we lost some pieces. That just simply means we're a totally different team right now, and I just think everybody has a totally different mindset. Jacoby comes in here and doesn't feel the same pain we felt. So, him being a part of us now, and just other guys like him, I think their thought process is different. So, for us to think about that too much, we can't stay back there. We've got to move on."
On whether he's ready for his 17th season:"Honestly, when you're in the offseason and you're training, I just think it's something that I really learn about that game, is that I really appreciate it. I just love playing the game, I love competition, and that's why I come back every year, every year, every year. Because the competition of the game is what makes the game beautiful. The brotherhood that's in the locker room, that's what makes the game beautiful. So for me, being back here 17 years, honestly, feels like Year One again, because every year I embark upon something new. So, here we go – starting all over again."
On what it means to have RB Ray Rice in Baltimore long-term now: "Anybody who knows Ray knows that he's just one of those special kids that comes to work and is going to do the right things. And I think for this organization to go ahead and do that at a very early stage of his career, I think that's awesome. Me and Ray talked about it – not to get frustrated, not to worry about other people signing deals, any of that. Just do what you need to do and focus on what you need to focus on. Have fun in the game. That contract side of it, getting done, I think is a big relief for Ray though."
On how his body feels and whether making a tackle now feels any different from when he first made a tackle: "Wow. (laughter) How do I answer that? (laughter) No, you know what? Honestly, I just think you don't ever think about that. If you would have never given me that number [of career tackles – 2,586], I would never know that number. So, it's really just about making the play. Whether it's a tackle, whether it's a big hit, whether it's a sack, whatever it is, it's just about making a play. So, whether you think about how you're feeling or not after the play, I really don't. Somebody feels it." (laughter)
On whether his longevity in the NFL hits him when he looks around the locker room and sees guys getting younger and younger: "You know what? It hits me definitely that I'm blessed, because I speak to kids, and the last kid told me that he was in the second grade [when he first] saw me play, and now he's meeting me. So, I think it's just being blessed that I've been able to maintain through my injuries and through the ups and downs of this game. And I think it's a credit to my work ethic and just everything that I've bought into over the years. And every year I'm always trying to change, always trying to come back better for my team. But I just think, just to be around and see the different generations that have come up and come through, I think it's awesome. And I appreciate now the way Rod Woodson and Shannon Sharpe felt when they were at the stage in their careers to where they appreciated young guys like me. So, I appreciate Ray [Rice], I appreciate Joe [Flacco], I appreciate Michael Oher and all those guys."
On if getting as close to the Super Bowl last year is a motivator for this year:"I think individually, I think individually. If you're Jacoby and you're coming in and maybe you are the reason we brought you to make that catch. Joe … Can you do anything better to put a ball in a better place? Who knows? So, I think individually you can kind of motivate yourself that way, but if you understand this business, that chapter is done. Sometimes we are always focused on the end result, [and] we forget the journey was awesome. Last year's season, to get 8-0 at home, I think actually the first time in Ravens' history … Am I correct? Seriously, things like that are just remarkable, and the feeling that you protected the home field and swept the division, that's huge. That's huge for a team no matter what year you are in. For Joe and Ray [Rice] to be in the playoffs every year they have been here … So whatever motivation you grab is going to be whatever motivation. I just think as a team our journey was ran last year, and I think our course stopped the way it was supposed to stop, because the AFC team didn't win the Super Bowl. The Giants were crowned."
On if Lewis is excited for Ed Reed to be back: "There are a couple of guys on this team that when you see their face, you know it's going to be all right, and he is one of those guys. Ed is maturing into a man and understanding that there are other things outside of the game that are way more important, but at the same time, it is a business. Every time it is a business, Ed understands that when it is time for me to show up, I am here. For me, it was never a question of if Ed was going to be at camp or not. Whether he speaks about whatever, that's from his heart, but him taking care of the business side of it, he has always done that."
On what Lewis thinks when people say Baltimore is an "aging" defense: "I think if we are [aging], all of the great defenses are still watching us in the playoffs, which is the ultimate. (laughter) You don't worry about what people talk about. You finish the year where you are, and you build your defense for over a decade now that this defense has been what it's been. Let numbers speak for themselves. It's one thing to hear outside people talk about; it's another thing to speak about it who are in the game. We are finishing in the Top 3-5 defenses every year, bottom line – fact. Injuries to whoever it may be, it's always next man up. So, I don't think it's about any of that defensively or if we are aging or not. I don't even think we think about it that way, because being playmakers and winning is much greater than all that other stuff people are talking about. It's who we are. We kind of don't want to be liked. We like to be respected, and respect is by doing your job."
On how much Lewis weighs now:"I'm a little lighter. I'm probably much lighter than 240, but the game is changing. The game isn't any more [about] 250-60-pound fullbacks. You [don't] have the offenses running the ball 25-, 30-, 40-plus times. [Passing] is just happening more. The game is changing; it's all based on matchups. People want to find mismatches here, there. So, you just change with the game. If everybody runs, who can't run? So for me, that's kind of what my thought process was coming into these next years. And I've had a couple of coaches over the years [provide some] great advice that was shared with me. The lighter you get, the lighter you play, and you just feel better. You feel better because you have the wisdom to go off and do whatever you want to do, but I just think playing a little lighter is a lot smarter for me."
On if Lewis noticed LB James Farrior getting lighter longer into his career: "I probably didn't, but I've always noticed that Farrior was definitely kind of slim. I've kind of always noticed that."
On if this is the lightest that Lewis has been entering camp: "Yes, this is definitely the lightest I have been since I've probably walked in Baltimore. Yes, definitely."
On how much Lewis weighs: "I keep that to myself; you can't share everything. (laughing) I'm at a good weight. I'm at a good weight; I'm at a good playing weight. So, I'm excited, so we will see."
On what Lewis meant by the way the game is changing:"Oh, absolutely. I'm sitting down the other day, and I'm listening to Aaron Rodgers talk, and he's like, 'This is a passing league now,' and I'm like, 'Wow, thank you,' because they were kind of addressing their running back situation, and I guess one of their receivers said they can't really run the ball or whatever, and he was addressing that and it was amazing, that bottom line, it is. It is a passing game. It's a quick game they want. Offenses want to really exploit 30-40 points a weekend. It's about creating mismatches, I think."
On Lewis' thoughts on OLB Paul Kruger stepping up: "I think Kruger has always been that guy for me. Kruger's always been a guy that I've just liked, period, from Day One, probably because of who he is as a person. When you step on the football field with Kruger, you appreciate playing with a guy like that. He is going to give you everything he has, and at the end of the day, that's all you can ask for. Just the way he plays his maturity on playing behind [Terrell] Suggs for so many years, I think it will be huge to really see how far he can really take us coming up."
On if he has thought on when he might quit playing the game: "No, man, seriously. I think I would be a very selfish person if I thought about that day, because until passion leaves you for the game, then that's impossible to think about. To ever think about walking away from what I've been born to do in one phase of my life … So, I can't tell you that, 'Hey man, this is my last year.' I would cheat every player in that room, because every coach and every fan that I've got, because they would be like, 'Man, dang, this is his last year!' Whenever it happens, let it happen for all us, and hopefully I am walking, and still doing the things that I am doing. But, I love the game too much, and I have a great connection to Baltimore, and as long as I am playing and my body feels great, then I'll keep doing it."
On what he hears from players who he speaks to, such as Stanford's basketball team and Loyola's lacrosse team: "They all won championships, too! Dang! I think probably the most humbling things are those afterthoughts. Wow, the text I just got from the London Warriors, who just won the conference championship … I just left London speaking over there to some young men. It was amazing for them to be down at the half and come back to win, 18-14, or something like that. But the message I got over my text, just how they changed their mentalities, how people have started to focus more and change their direction … No matter what their situation may be, there is always a better day. There are always different things you can think about. So, and then when you get those texts, you have to humble yourself. You have sit back and be like, 'Wow.' It really affects people in ways that you have never known. You just actually speak from your heart. But, to receive what they speak about and what they feel, it's awesome. It's awesome. So, it's just one of those things I love to hear the comments of what people say after the fact."
On if his speech to the team following the loss in the AFC Championship game was motivation or from the heart: "I just think it was kind of both. It was definitely from the heart. We don't want to talk about it a lot when it comes to sports, because we always like the good side. But, there is a lot of pain in this world, real pain. People look towards us during games to be courageous in the times of loss in big defeats like that. It's OK to still be a man. It's OK to walk up and congratulate somebody else because they won. Those are the things that I think make you appreciate every moment of the game. Don't cheat the game. That's what I am saying about those moments. You can never hold your head down by losing the AFC Championship. That doesn't make the Buffalo Bills not great, because they went to four-straight [Super Bowls and lost each]. They still were great. They just maybe never got over that hump. Their journey was ran. I just think for me, with that message at the end, I was like, 'Look men, we've done it. We've done it.' I have been on some 4-12 teams, 7-9, 6-10. So, I have been on some teams that were way out of the playoffs way early, wishing one day I was in the playoffs. So, for us to achieve that every year, if I am Joe Flacco, I've got crazy swagger. (laughter) If I came in here and led my team to four-straight playoff appearances, two AFC Championships and you are a play away from being in the Super Bowl in both of those, you have to [be confident]. That's why I think you move on. You move on very quickly, because life offers different things, and I think we are man enough to take a loss, take it as a man, and then go teach somebody something from it."
On if he is amazed about all the scrutiny and talk about QB Joe Flacco: "That's the only thing that gets me. I have never spoken about Joe being uncomfortable. People do, but I see him every day. I see him every day. What I see in the quarterback that they are talking about, I don't see. Look, every tool there is to have as a quarterback, he has. Every decision, thought process that there is to make as a quarterback – to check out – no matter what the top quarterbacks are, he has. So, I don't think he is nowhere close to the reason why we haven't been in the last three out of four Super Bowls – bottom line. I just think as a team, we have to keep piecing it together, piecing it together, piecing it together and then that glory hits us."
RB Ray Rice
On what he's doing with the money from his new contract: "Well, first thing I did, just being honest, I got my mom a house. But myself, I've been living pretty good. I'm not one of the guys who needed to go out and do too much, but I will relocate while I'm in Baltimore and kind of live in a family home now. But it feels good. You know, when you're going through that process, you're thinking about the franchise tag for one year, but now you're inked for five years, so essentially, hopefully, I'll retire a Raven. That's what it all boils down to. You're in your second contract and you think about long-term. That'd be nine years of my life that I've been in Baltimore, so needless to say, Baltimore has become home for me. My [driver's] license is Baltimore. I'm no longer a New Yorker; I just visit there now."
On what it was like last week on the day he signed his new contract:"Going through this whole offseason, I treated it like the lockout, just being honest. You get hit with the franchise tag; you know you're guaranteed one year. So, you go through it, and you're just trying to find that cushion. You've got to give a little to get a little, and my agent Todd France and [executive vice president and general manager] Ozzie Newsome and [owner] Steve [Bisciotti] and [vice president of football administration] Pat Moriarty did a great job of finding a bridge where I would be satisfied, but the team would be satisfied as well. And it's great knowing that now, because it feels like I've been rewarded for my previous work, and now that that's over and said and done with, now we can go ahead and chase this championship. And it's never been about playing for money and all that kind of thing; I've always been a team-oriented guy. But that was my first crack at the real business side of it, because as a rookie you just sign and play. And that was my first crack at the business side of it. And I'm just happy that my emotions never got … You know, I never really wanted to get emotional about the situation; it was just business. But needless to say, I love everybody around the building. From the guy who cleans the locker room to the guy who changes the toilet, I love everybody around here. It's a great feeling, and with all that being done, you put all of it aside, and now you can finally focus on playing football. So needless to say, it was a relief. Leaving the building [last week], it was like (takes deep breath), 'The business side of it is over.' I went back home and embraced my family and quite frankly, the next eight months and hopefully going into February, we'll be here, or wherever the Super Bowl is, we'll try to find our way there."
On if it was hard to be away from his teammates: "It was tough being away because the lockout was over, and you see guys going through minicamp, you see guys going through this, going through that. I always know how to keep myself in shape. Now, I know I wouldn't have had to be at every single thing, but I would have loved to been at some things that were important, like minicamp, the first week of OTAs, to gel with the guys. But, the most important thing is that I am here for training camp, and that's the biggest thing. I can just get my timing back just playing football again, and I'm sure [head] coach [John] Harbaugh and everybody has a plan, but whenever it is time to work, it's time to work. We have enough guys on the roster right now where our starters can go ahead, get our reps and then we can take care of our bodies, because training camp isn't the time to actually beat yourself up. It's actually time to get smart, aggressive work with pads on and with the preseason games. That's one thing I have learned about it. But then, you have some guys fighting for a job, so there will be some competition out here. I am just looking forward to working with the young rookies and try to give them some lessons that I learned as a rookie. But, they are getting a bone, because my first training camp was rough."
On what it means to him to sign this contract because not all running backs get to that point:"I think, at the running back position right now and the trend of it, that you have to adapt with the game. I see why guys are getting the contracts they are getting. Just to put it out there, I never asked for [Vikings RB] Adrian Peterson kind of money. I don't know how it got out there, but I was just told to keep my mouth shut at the time. But, I see why the running backs are going the way it goes. There is a history, there is a study that there is a decline after a certain point. But, it's our job to try to maintain that level of play. There are guys that have done it. Those are the guys you call the great ones. They are Hall of Famers. They keep up with their 'A' game. I just put it all aside. I am just glad that I was able to get my second contract and put everything else aside. Like I was saying, adapting with the game, I think I bring more than just a battering ram. The way the quarterbacks are playing now, if you are not a running back and you are not able to catch, then you become one-dimensional. I think that played to my benefit in getting my second contract is that I caught so many passes, caught so many balls, that when it was time to negotiate, it wasn't just about, 'Oh, he rushed for 1,000 yards.' I think the catching was what really put it over the top for me. I have been blessed. I haven't been really banged up. I don't really take the hits that people think I really take. It might be a pounding, it might be a load on the carries, but as far as taking crunching hits, I think I do a pretty good job of avoiding them."
On if he thinks he will have any rust:"One thing I know about the first couple of days of last year when we came off the lockout [is] I did have that time where we did have that little workout at Towson with the team. Everything is about timing. As long as I get my timing down … It will probably take a week. I won't credit myself, but I think a week-and-a-half, two weeks of just getting acclimated again [is important]. One thing you can do with training, you can cut, you can run, you can jump high, you can do whatever you want, but there is no substitute for a live defense or a live drill. There is no substitute for that, so I will get acclimated for that. The great part about this situation is that I am not going into a different offense. I am kind of going into something that I have been doing now going into my fifth year. A lot of it will be repeat studies. [RBs coach] Wilbert Montgomery, my coach, will catch me up to speed. Shoot, I may have to catch up to some of these rookies. They have a head up on me right now."
On what the offseason workouts have been like:"For me, I did a lot of Cross Fit, a lot of resistance training. I'm sure you guys have all seen me carrying the kegs running up the stairs. But previously, before that, what I did, I had a weighted football, and I would carry a weighted football up the stairs. [I would] do some boxing, but a lot of things to get the heart rate going. Obviously, knowing that I had to run, I ran the conditioning test many times. I ran it with a weighted vest. So, I wouldn't be able to get six [150-yard suicides] with the weighted vest, so I would try to do as many as I can. So, I got to four with the weighted vest. And I just tried to get down to the time. I already knew when I ran the conditioning test, if I made it four with a vest, I'm going to get to four, there's no way I won't get five and six. So mentally, it set me up for the conditioning test, which is not as easy as six 150 [-yard dashes]. But, pushing yourself when you're cutting and running … Football is all about stopping and going. You can run fast, but if you can't stop and run fast, then you are essentially becoming one-dimensional as well. So, a lot of the cutting and running, a lot of jumping, explosive stuff, single legs – a lot of preventive injury stuff as well. There is no replacement for playing football other than playing football, so that's what is exciting about me getting out there and play again."
On if he paid attention to QB Joe Flacco's deal:"One thing I know about Joe, me and Joe came in together, and he is going to be a Raven for a long time, so he's already said that. Just putting all of that aside, Joe Flacco played a heck of a season last year. Joe Flacco has been a great quarterback for us, and I know at the end of the day he will get taken care of, and I'm sure that's what his mindset is. But going into training camp and the same way I felt last year coming into training camp was I'm still under contract, so no matter what the Ravens or the organization decides to do, he's still under contract. So, quite frankly, they can take care of him now or they can take care of him later, and they do have the option of the franchise tag, which gives them more time. When you bridge the gap, he's going to get taken care of. It just might not happen when he wants it to, but it's going to get done. I'm not even sure he's even worried about that. Like he said, he knows he's going to be a Raven for a long time, and that's how I took the approach last year. I never got involved, because I knew there was line of order. And I knew who had to get taken care of before I even got talked about, and that was Haloti Ngata. I'm done. I was up. I was the franchise guy. I wouldn't say it was pecking order. Me and Joe came in together, but he is next to get taken care of."
On what breaking franchise records means to him:"Well, it's always great when you can achieve your personal goals and records and win as well. The personal goals would be great, but my overall goal would be to win. Put all that aside, I've always said I'll take less stats and a Super Bowl any day. But, it will be great to go out there and chase some personal achievements, but it would be even greater to win, and that's what we are all about. Especially with what coach Harbaugh has been preaching. The team, we have a great team. I know that, and I don't even get a chance to treat my O-linemen, I don't even get to stand up here without my O-linemen taking care of me. So, my little gift to them last year, I can actually pay it back now."
On what he is going to give to his O-linemen: "Well, I got them watches last year, so they might up the ante on me. (laughing) They were calling me cheap last year until I got them the watches. I got them some Breitling watches last year. So, I did them real good. I think I might have to take over for the offensive dinner. We used to have Derrick Mason and Todd [Heap]; I'm not sure if these guys are going to put it all on me right now. (laughing) Ruth's Chris. Well, the good place to take them, because we have offensive linemen – they like to eat – is Fogo de Chao. It's like an overpriced buffet. You got to let them eat. Keep the steak open and pick it out."
On if it was more money relief or mental relief knowing that he will be here for five years:"Well, it was a comfortable feeling. I already knew I put myself in a position, even with $7.7 [million], I was never denying the franchise tag. You take 7.7 wherever you want to cut it, still my family is going to be fine. So, when I signed it was relief, more like, 'OK, that's over with, the business side is done.' Playing under the franchise tag would, me mentally would have said, 'I wouldn't have known if I would have been a Raven next year.' So, that's where it scares you. It doesn't scare you in terms of financial stability, because you are going to get that. It scares you in terms of, 'Where I am going to be next year?' That feeling, I don't have to worry about and it was a relief. Once I got in my car, if you guys saw me drive off, I went home, packed a duffel bag, drove on up to New York. I think I was on the phone the whole three hours. I felt like I got home in 45 minutes because I was on the phone. The first person I went to see was my mom. She knows what we all have been through in my life and our life. It was more of a relief on that end. But, even with 7.7, I still would have been able to say the same things with her. As long as I know where I am going to be for the next couple of years, as long as I take care of my business, I feel good."
On being the possibility of getting a third contract: "Well, we know that's the ultimate goal. Like I said, my ultimate goal would be to retire a Raven. I actually love the way my contract is structured, where on the final two years of my deal I won't become such of a hit on the salary cap. You know how it is with backs. You are not going to get the max. We know at running back, I maxed out this one, and if you want to go on to a third one maybe to set me off to say, 'You know what? Give me a chance to at least hang it up as a Raven.' Like Ray Lewis says, there's nothing like playing for one team, one organization, [not] being shuffled around the league. I know the running back position. I know these young guys are up and coming, but I think my age helps me in this situation. I'm 25, and there's been no sign of slowing down. The only thing that can be said is that, 'He had a load, but he had a load in college as well.' So, I think as a long as I am able to take care of my body, go out there and play the game fast, and as long as I am able to make people miss for a while, I think I can write my own chapter."
On how much he thinks back to the AFC Championship game loss:"It's always a thought. The mood of training camp will be that last game. You are only as good as your last game. There were some very good things that we did in that last game. But, the mood of the training camp will only be to overcome that last game. Let's get that out of the way. That will be the movement going forward. The best thing, whether it's preseason or not, the best feeling is going to be lining up against another opponent, because that gets the last game out. 'You know what? All right, the last game is over.' It's always a thought. It's always a feeling. You're a pro, you always think about what you could have done better, how you felt, and quite frankly, that was not the best feeling. But we had a great leader pull us back together, and that was No. 52 [Ray Lewis]. I'm sure he'll be speaking to you guys soon. Without him in that locker room at that moment, I don't think the gelling would have come back. Ray Lewis brought us together as a team, and you'll see a team come out here with pride, ready to come out here and practice, and however long coach says we're going to go after, we'll get after it. And when it's time to rest, we'll rest, but training camp is going to bring that feeling back together. We'll go out to dinner some nights when coach has us off. We're going to do things to gel again as a team, because one thing we were last year was a great team. No one can take that away from us. We just fell short. We have to try to get that feeling back."
On becoming more of a leader after receiving the contract: "I felt that without my second contract. Not to cut you off, but I felt that without my second contract. What I was playing for was bigger than the contract. I was playing for No. 52, for guys that are on the back end of their deal. I was giving it my all week-in and week-out. When Ray was on the sideline last year, the best thing I could do was try to get him to the playoffs. So, at the time, you are not even thinking about a contract. You are thinking about getting to that next level so the next man can be happy. He would do the same for me in his late stages of his career. Those are the kind of guys we have. It doesn't matter if we are talking about myself, Ray. Our feeling right now – and I haven't been here – but I can tell you how many guys want to go out there and perform for Terrell Suggs, to get him back healthy enough, because I know Terrell. Terrell is going to want to get out here faster than everybody else. But, if we are going ahead and taking care of business, he can actually sit back and say, 'Let me get myself recovered 100-percent then go out there and help them boys out.' But right now, we have to do it for Terrell. One of us is wounded. Let's pick it up. I've seen the size of Courtney Upshaw. I'll be watching him coming around the corner in camp. I've seen the size of him. I don't know what he weighs on paper, but he looks like a brick wall to me. I'll have to talk to him in camp: 'Courtney, look, you are going to hit me a few times, but I need to play on Monday night.' It's exciting to see guys be in a position to step up, because I was in that position. Like he said, he came from a great program. [Alabama head coach] Nick Saban runs a topnotch program. I can't wait to see these young guys, especially him, because I am sure that is going to be the position that is talked about the most with [Suggs] being out."
On his continuing goals in the community: "One thing is I am going to continue to be an avid spokesperson for cyber bullying, that kind of thing. That stuff touches home, but my family has also been stricken by cancer, and obviously, you always want to [give back] to these kids and underprivileged communities. So, I am going to stick my neck out when I can. It's not just me. My teammates are out there in the community as well. We talk about winning and losing games, but when you talk about getting into the community, you are talking about people who really need help. I think it's a win when you can help out the community. Regardless of you record, when you put everything aside, you can still go out and impact communities, because we have the voice and opinions to help out. I will continue to do my job with that, because I love doing it. A lot of people think you have to donate money. It's really your time. I love donating my time, but now I am able to give out some charitable donations as well to the people who really need it."
On the response he got from the members of the community regarding his contract situation:"It was a great response, because a lot of it is home in Baltimore, so a lot of people were just glad to see that I am not just going to be here one year. You get the whole thing where everybody has different sides. One thing about my contract situation, I know there are certain things that you are being told. I didn't ever want to be in a situation where I had to hold out for more money. I just wanted to hold out for a fair deal, and that's what I got, a fair deal, with the Ravens. Everything about it is fair. The way they structured it was fair. At the end of the day, [general manager and executive vice president] Ozzie [Newsome] told me, 'I would be able to give you a fair deal.' You come back 15 years from now, hopefully it's Hall of Fame, Ring of Honor, whatever it is, I'll be able to shake his hand, if he is still here, and say, 'I got a fair deal.' And I can thank everybody around the organization for taking care of me."
On what his T-shirt "Ray Knows" means: "I don't know. I actually found it at Nike Town. It was in New York. I was shopping, and I was trying to get some shorts and apparel to wear. I didn't know where I could get them from, so I figured I would get the whole rack and give them out to my family. I don't know if they were talking about me or Ray Lewis. (laughing) But my name is Ray, so I said it's going to work some way somehow."
On if it is scary with G Ben Grubbs gone: "I shook Bobbie Williams' hand, and he's been in the league for a long time now. We've scouted him, and we know we've got young guys, but it's good to know you have a veteran presence that can be in the mix. But one thing we know is that camp is going to bring out the best in everybody. I'm excited, because our line, we've gelled. I'm going to miss Ben Grubbs so much. He was one of the first guys that texted me when I got my deal done. We know the business side of it. Ben Grubbs, I would have loved to see him stay, but he is a heck of a player, but we know there are holes to be filled, and like I said, guard is something we will play close attention to. Anybody who is in front of me, I trust. As a running back, if you don't trust, you won't get anywhere. That's when you start to stutter-step. Their job is to make me look good, but my job is also to make them look good as well. So, whoever is in there, if we have to do it like we did last year, rotate guys, whatever it is, we have to get the job done. But having Bobbie Williams here is great because he is that veteran experience. We didn't get him back, but he was what Andre Gurode was for us when he had to step in. That's the great thing about having veteran players on your team, and he's one of them." On if it is "Super Bowl or bust":"It's been that attitude, I think, every year, if you want to say that. When you look at the Ravens, we've been close every year. I think it's just time for us to get over that hump now, and we have the pieces to do it. Looking at our schedule, we have our work cut out for us, we really do. One thing that I know about our team, when there is a challenge, we accept it. We go ahead and accept the challenge, and I've learned from Ray that the power of respect is to never disrespect your opponent. And whoever we have to face, we know it's going to be a battle. May the best man win, but our job is to get to the playoffs. Every game counts. We know there's the division and all that. But, our job is to win games and get to the playoffs, and I think if we get to the playoffs, we're a pretty good team. And being a pretty good team, we've got to get to the promise land. I don't want to say 'Super Bowl or bust,' because that's the motto every year. But, I would love to feel that confetti drop, as Big Ray would say."